Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline drew $450,000 in campaign contributions during the final three months of 2013, far outpacing his opponents.
Kline’s campaign has $1.6 million banked for a likely November rematch against his 2012 Democratic opponent, former state Rep. Mike Obermueller of Eagan.
Buoyed by 2012 redistricting that added more Democratic and independent voters to the Second District, national Democrats and progressive groups are targeting Kline. But the efforts to unseat Kline have yet to generate a financial windfall for his opponents in the district, which covers the Twin Cities’ southern suburbs and exurbs.
Obermueller gave Kline his closest race in a decade last election, despite being outspent nearly 3-to-1.
This time around, Obermueller entered the race a year earlier, but the money race is shaping up much the same as 2012, with Kline racing away from the competition.
Obermueller’s campaign drew $132,000 in the fourth quarter of 2013 and has $203,000 in the bank, according to a campaign spokeswoman.
David Gerson, a South St. Paul resident who ran in the 2012 Republican primary, is making another push at wresting the party’s nomination from Kline.
Gerson’s campaign has not yet released fundraising totals. Thus far, Gerson’s had trouble drawing donations. At the end of September, his campaign had less than $2,500 cash on hand and was more than $91,000 in debt, mostly from personal loans he used to jumpstart his campaign.
Gerson has been critical of his opponent’s fundraising, especially the donations Kline draws from industries he oversees as chair of the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee.
Gerson sent a note to Republican activists this week, citing a Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington study that showed Kline has benefited from a “155 percent increase in contributions from educational and workforce-related industries” since taking over as committee chairman.